SWANAGE county councillor and former town mayor Bill Trite says it would be “criminal” and “philistine” to construct the Navitus Bay wind farm off the Dorset coast.

Cllr Trite was speaking at County Hall, where Dorset County Council members backed a report opposing the controversial wind farm planned nine miles off Swanage Beach.

Members of the council's cabinet discussed the authority's Local Impact Report, which details expected effects of the Navitus Bay development.

Navitus Bay wants to erect up to 194 wind turbines, as high as 200 metres, offshore.

Addressing cabinet, Cllr Trite said: “It would be criminal and philistine to disfigure this loveliest of English seascapes by the gigantic intrusion which is intended by the so-called Navitus Bay plan.

“This is the wrong kind of renewable energy in the wrong place. We are sacrificing so much that is good for the sake of a futile gesture that will benefit foreign companies and investors for the sake of no measurable benefit to the environment.”

However, Cllr Paul Kimber from the Portland Tophill division said the council's Labour group felt it couldn't support the authority's response the project.

“We do believe that this is something economically that should be considered much more,” he said. “It could and will provide local jobs.”

The council report raised concerns over the impacts on the landscape and seascape, the World Heritage site status of the Jurassic Coast and the surrounding area, the local environment and seabed and tourism, as well as looking at highways and transport issues.

Members of the cabinet agreed to support the submission of the document to the Planning Inspectorate, which is due to start its lengthy inquiry process into the wind farm scheme later this month.

Council chairman John Wilson said he was pleased to see the concerns of the Jurassic Coast highlighted in the report, and stressed that he was not opposed to renewable energy in principle, but the scheme being proposed was inappropriate.